Global Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) professionals work to keep their people safe and healthy, while keeping their facilities operating safely and sustainably. Our EHS Program is designed to integrate EHS initiatives into all aspects of business operations. This program is also responsible for applying applicable federal, state and local regulations and for considering proposed legislation from the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Transportation. All operational team members complete training to fully understand the expectation of behaviors defined by our Global EHS Policy.  

Safety Performance We make safety a core focus across our operations, trending 64 percent favorable to the U.S. Wholesale Industry Average as defined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. In 2019, our North American Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) was 1.2 and our Lost Time Incident Rate (LTIR) was 0.3. This is an improvement from 2018 rates of 1.38 and 0.31, respectively.

Line graph showing Grainger's TRIR and LTIR performance since 2011

Safety Assessments In 2019, the Grainger’s EHS leadership team performed a series of EHS assessments in North America. These assessments evaluated the internal EHS initiatives and programs with respect to local government regulations.

For example, Grainger participates in the Canadian Certificate of Recognition (COR) health and safety audit for the oil and gas industry, as part of our EHS commitment to our resource extraction customers in Canada. We undertake the COR audit for full certification every three years, with annual maintenance audits in between. Grainger achieved 95 percent on our latest COR in 2018.

Safety Culture & Education Established in 2019, the Distribution Center (DC) Safety Pillar Team leverages a continuous improvement approach to identify and define short-, near-, and long-term actions that will lead to a safer and more productive DC network. The Safety Pillar Team utilizes a cross-functional approach to drive and sustain safety values in the DC operations that encourages collaboration across all business units. Currently, the Safety Pillar Team is assessing the safety needs of the network and refining our work practices by performing Gemba walks, identifying focal points, and determining key initiatives to promote a unified safety-driven culture.

Grainger’s DCs are piloting an initiative to better equip new team members with hands-on safety experience. The DC Safety School will enable new team members to apply the learnings from orientation into a real-world environment, before they fully integrate into the workforce. The Safety School curriculum includes topics such as ergonomics, wellbeing and use of equipment. This pilot program is active at our DCs in Kansas City, Missouri; Minooka, Illinois; Patterson, New Jersey; and Louisville, Kentucky, with more locations in the U.S. and Canada planned for 2020.

Online resources, such as Grainger’s KnowHow website of the Safety & Health Solutions Center, also provide safety information and insights for Grainger team members and customers. In addition, Grainger provides thought leadership at industry events throughout the year.

Safety Partnerships Grainger leverages external partnerships to best support our EHS professionals. Grainger’s Field Safety Specialists (FSS) work with partner organizations to identify hazards and apply the hierarchy of hazard control to find solutions for customers. Grainger is also a proud member of the Campbell Institute of the National Safety Council, whose mission is to use research, education and advocacy to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and on the road.